I commandeered the “I’m with Big Dummy” shirt from the schwag Surly sent us for the Mobile Social. It’s well timed with Bettie 2.0 arriving at Hugga HQ and I’ll wear it as I ride Bettie New around town.
More on Bettie 2.0 as we test ride her, but the quick review is
The bike is remarkably quiet. All I hear is the tires. Old Bettie was a cacophony of sound with the Stokemonkey, two chain rings and gears. It’s also like I went from driving a beat-up old truck to an Escalade. It’s smooth. Now that I understand how Nuvinci shifts, it’s a thing of drivetrain beauty. Also slow. Smooth and slow.
Reminder – Tomorrow is Bike to Work day, the best day all month to commute on your bike. Here in Seattle we’ve got an event organized by Cascade and sponsored by Starbucks (among others) replete with stations all over town where you can check in for some schwag. No worries if you’re not in Seattle, are rides allaroundthecountry.
Now, schwag is lovely, but it ain’t really enough to get me to stop most days. What should get you our riding and maybe even stopping at a promo-hut is the chance to get counted. Turns out our fair city doesn’t do an annual census, and tomorrow’s the day to vote with your feet – show the city how many of us are out there for transportation and how vital our cycling facilities are.10,000+ riders rode last year, it’ll be interesting to see how many more this year with gas prices up over 40 cents a gallon from last year. Plus the weather in Seattle is supposed to be fantastic tomorrow, so we’ll see ya out there. If you’ve checking in post commute – how’d it go?
Besides the vetting, on the bike you get to know a person, how they ride, what they’re riding, and how they assemble themselves in the pack. It maybe a alpha-centered culture with roadies or a more democratic urban ride. Whatever the context is, I think more business should occur on bikes.
Also, as a final tip, if you show up on a Pinarello Prince, you must rip everyone’s legs off and then apologize profusely or risk being labeled a poseur.
Our friends and Clever Cycles and Recyclery have offered to help us with bike parking at the end of the ride during the Mobile Social. They’re right across the street from Lucky Lab Hawthorne where the reception will take place.
We’ll just ride on over, drop our bikes off, and not worry about bike thieves.
If you need a bike, Clever Cycles has a good assortment of Bromptons and more to ride. Contact them and ask for Martina. Waterfront Bikes is also renting and just mention us for a hookup.
The Mobile Social. What the heck is that? It sounds like so many wonderful things. I’m interested in the intersection of bike culture and mobile technology.
Well that’s exactly what it is! The Mobile Social is the intersection of bikes, technology, and culture. We ride bikes, we’re mobile, use technology, socialize, and into gear. So we combined all that into an event and called it the Mobile Social. We think it’s wonderful and the first one was a success. Our next one is a week from today in Portland. And here’s what you need to know
About this time of year, I get really burned out on my current stock of energy bars. Taste change and so I don’t have a “best bar,” but try to rotate them in and out and mix it up with pastries, bagels, and a good old PB&J. I travel with the PRO Bar and Bear Valley Pemmican Bar. Those are considered meal replacements. A jersey-pocket standby is Clif and their shot chewy things are good for a nervous stomach right before a big race.
Rotating into the choices are bars from Zing. They’re developed by nutritionalists, taste like food, and are all-natural. They’re good and a nice change. For the bike, they’d need more substance for more calories. And, I wish that Natures Path would form their toaster pastries into bar shapes for my jersey.
It’s that time of year when more bikes start coming out. Cyclists are riding to work and lots of them are prepping for a tour with some big miles. Even if you’ll never kit up, pin a race number on, or turn a pedal in anger, some racer skills will help protect you and other cyclists. Flying around a blind corner, turning abruptly and other sketchy moves that’d take down a pack in a race can have the same effect at Seattle to Portland, on your commute, or an event in your area.
Last week, a woman was roaring down the Swing Bridge nearly right into me as I was coming up onto it (possibly setting a personal best on her commute). Later a commuter swung wide into a blind corner nearly clipping me and another came just whizzing out across the yellow line. I don’t know if it’s rusty skills, maybe they have no skills, or don’t care, but staying the course and holding your line is a good thing to do even if all you ever ride is a tourist bike path.
The yellow-line violator reminded me of a group we rode up onto once and the women went into a near panic because I was behind her. First it was nervous glances, then a “hey don’t ride so close” mixed with the insistence that she had a 3-ft quiet zone around her. “Cool with me,” I said and rolled on by. I also thought, maybe she should reconsider her sport of choice or not ride on roads where other cyclists ride.
Sure, sure, people can ride how they ride, but I think cyclists sometimes we forget how dangerous our sport is and at the very least, situational awareness applies. Example: we’ve got draw bridges in Seattle with metal grate decking that’s slick, hard to ride on, and has led to very serious bike crashes.
I cringe every time I see a cyclist riding that deck. Saw one just last week.
What’s the sketchiest thing you’ve seen on a ride?